A Chat With Barack Obama

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., speaks about the economy, Thursday, March 27, 2008, in the Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

I got to spend about 15 minutes with presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday. No big news headlines to report. He had just delivered a speech on the economy at Cooper Union in New York City.

During the speech, the biggest applause line came when he said if we can extend a hand to banks on Wall Street when they get in trouble, we can extend a hand to Americans who are struggling.

In our conversation he said that trickle down -- which is basically the Bush economic model -- was a failure. He said in all these years of economic expansion, the beneficiaries were but a fortunate few on the top. I wondered if the political will exists to make the changes he proposes. Obama said he thinks it does.

This all presumes his democratic nomination, and subsequent victory in November. Of that he said he would not encourage Sen. Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the campaign. Once voters get a chance to compare him and John McCain, he said, he likes his chances.
Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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